A poll of 43 advisers at yesterday’s event found 80 per cent supported idea of auto-enrolment for some form of sickness benefit protection, with 20 per cent against – a near reversal of the position last June when 88 per cent were against, and only 12 per cent in support of the move.
Speaking at the event Ellipse chief executive John Ritchie said: “In the next parliament there will be unprecedented change in welfare provision. The government has got out of pensions. Government will get out of long-term sick pay cover. So the big question for us is are we going to fill that gap. Are we up for it. Or are we like the incumbent pension providers who said auto-enrolment for pensions won’t happen?”
Group Risk Development spolesperson Katharine Moxham says: “The figures appear to show a big shift in adviser opinion. I don’t have a mandate from members to lobby for auto-enrolment for income protection. But I agree it is up to the industry to lead the debate, set out what good looks like and show the government how we can help tackle the cost of welfare benefits.
“But there are two things that can be done – firstly the government can encourage to do the right thing. Dame Carol Black talked yesterday about the shift towards health and wellbeing amongst employers. This can be helped through some of the Department of Health initiatives she is involved with.
“Secondly, we do need to help people to make proper provision for themselves. The development of simple products is ongoing and it is possible we can move forward with a simple income replacement product.
“I don’t think personally we will get tax or NI breaks, but that is not all we need. So we should be asking the government to support ways to promote these initiatives.”
Do you support the idea of auto-enrolment for some form of sickness benefit protection?